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This Westchester School District Under Fiscal Stress, State Comptroller Says

One Westchester school district is under fiscal stress, according to the state comptroller.
One Westchester school district is under fiscal stress, according to the state comptroller. Photo Credit: File

A Westchester County school district was among 33 statewide to be under “fiscal stress,” according to the New York State Comptroller.

According to Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli’s Fiscal Stress Monitoring System, the Mount Vernon School District was “susceptible to fiscal stress,” for the school year that ended in 2019.

The Comptroller said that the Fiscal Stress Monitoring System “analyzes a set of six financial indicators to create an overall stress score. The fiscal stress score determines if a district is in ‘significant fiscal stress,’ ‘moderate stress,’ ‘susceptible to stress’ or has not been designated in one of the levels of fiscal stress.

The system also has environmental indicators that assess other factors, such as poverty rates and tax base, which are outside of the control of school officials, but could impact revenues or drive costs, according to DiNapoli.

Mount Vernon’s fiscal score of 35 percent placed them between Roosevelt Union Free School District and Fishers Island Union Free School District on Long Island. Any district with a score above 25 percent and below 45 percent were dubbed “susceptible to financial stress,” by the system’s metrics.

DiNapoli noted that the 33 school districts under fiscal stress is up from 26 in the past two years, and 95 percent of New York school districts were not categorized. Seventeen were “susceptible,” seven were in “moderate” and two were in “significant” fiscal stress.

“Some of New York’s school districts are in fiscal trouble. While there are a number of factors causing their fiscal stress, each district should address these problems today,” DiNapoli said. “My Fiscal Stress Monitoring System flags issues early so communities can correct them. My office will continue to provide financial planning tools, guidance, and training to help schools in stress.”

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